In an article
appearing in the Winterset Madisonian, the editor suggested that a
monument be erected to honor Madison County’s war dead. This sparked a flurry of interest and enthusiasm
among the people of the county.
A society was soon formed. Many sub-committees were
organized and served throughout the county. Monroe Township was represented by Mrs. Simeon Hamblin, Nancy Ritchie and Mrs.
Fisher. Funds were needed to pay for this project. There were
festivals, solicitations, exhibitions and many other ways were
used to raise the needed money.
The Madison County Supervisors gave the Society two lots.
One lot on which the old log courthouse stood and the other was
the old jail lot. The Society had the privilege of selling the
jail lot. They purchased an adjoining lot to the courthouse lot.
By combining the two areas made one hundred and sixty-six feet
square. The monument was erected on this ground.
A rise of native limestone, six and a half feet high serves
as a base for this fourteen foot white American marble column.
On October 7,
1867, with appropriate ceremonies, the park and the .monument were
dedicated to our fallen heroes who gave their lives for freedom
that others might enjoy. In December the marble stone was put into
place and the monument was completed. Madison County was the first in the nation to honor its war dead.
In July, 1974, workers refurbished the base and monument.
They found a small metal box at the corner of the base filled with
mementoes. The box contained money of different values and papers.
These valuable relics of the 1860 era are on display and filed at
the Madison County Museum . The monument is flanked by civil war cannons. The Madison County
Supervisors have charge of the grounds for maintenance and its
Researched and compiled by Mary W. Pope